Dana Zidarescu is COA’s Manager, Finance and Business Intelligence. She has been with COA since July, 2019 and she loves data and eggplant. Read on to find out more.
You are the Manager of Finance and Business Intelligence – what does that mean?
The finance piece is all the financial reporting, analysis and monitoring of COA finances. We also prepare the budget, cost models and projections. Basically, everything that has to do with our bottom line. The Business Intelligence aspect includes analysis of the data – for example, how do people spend their time? BI provides data so management can decide what direction to go in and see what pays off in the long run.
Tell me a bit about your prior experience.
I have been in the finance field for 25 years. I actually have an undergraduate degree in Engineering and an MBA in Financial Management.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love that it is varied. Not one day is the same as the next. There is a lot of diversity. And learning – everything is new and it’s not easy to grasp it all. I find that the more you know, the more you learn about how much more there is to know!
What drew you to Council on Aging?
I wanted to work for an organization that does good work for the community. At COA it’s not all about the bottom line.
Describe your perfect weekend.
I love spending time with my friends and family and perhaps going to dinner. Definitely low-key. I enjoy walking and being outdoors. I like my weekends to have an activity where there are no expectations – just to have fun. I enjoy going to my kids’ activities.
Do you have a book on your bedside table? If so, what is it?
I actually have a stack of books to be read. The latest book I read is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown about the 1936 Olympic rowing team. I’m looking forward to finishing Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari about what makes us human.
What else do we need to know about Dana?
Well, I am originally from Romania. I have been in America for the last 25 years – all four (4) of my kids were born here and I’m grateful to call America my home.
I also love eggplant. It is a traditional vegetable used in everyday cooking in Romania, and I cook with it often. I cut it up to put in sauces, slice it to be a “burger” or roast and peel it, then scoop out the flesh and combine with oil and onion – that’s a traditional Mediterranean dish. Eggplant is very versatile and flavorful and I love its texture.
I enjoy traveling, especially to the National Parks. We have been to some, and there are some still on our list. We have a bit of traveling coming up. We will be traveling to Prague to visit my daughter who is studying there, we will be traveling to Glacier National Park in Montana this summer.